Women in Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci’s Code’

Da Vinci Code
  • Kimberly Okesalako

The idea of Christianity can be dated back to over thousands of years old and has mainly relied on its survival like any other would, by burying its skeleton deep in the closets and going through whatever measures necessary to make sure it remains hidden. Dan Brown’s novel Da Vinci’s Code covers this idea. According to some sources, Brown stated that his novel can’t be used as a research material. However, like anything pertaining to the church, this book brought up a lot of controversies because there were many aspects of it that went against the church’s “beliefs”. Now when I say the “Church” I mean the Catholic Church. The idea that the Church itself had members (Priory of Sion born from the Templar Knights) who had taken “ancient scrolls” and had them hidden from the church to ensure that the rule of the church does not overstep its boundaries. In a way, if we are to believe this we can say that this could be one of the reasons that the church, who had ruled for over thousands of years, managed to give up its authority, or rather share it.

Jacques Sauniere, being an actually devoted lover of Leonardo’s work can be seen to have spread his work throughout the book. The title itself gives us an idea of what the book may portray. But it does not hint at the twist which the book revolves around. When I had read the book and the idea that a keystone exists which leads to the Holy Grail revealed that there are certain things that are a part of our history and culture which people tend to “sell” for their benefit. The concept of the Holy Grail has varied over various works and movies. Some believed it to be a person, while others believed it to be the chalice that Christ had used during the last supper. However, Dan Brown was able to incorporate the fact that both are possibilities and one could be closely related to the other.

What captures the attention of most is the introduction of Mary Magdalene into his work. For those that have read the Bible, Mary Magdalene was a prostitute who had used her hair to wash the feet of Christ with incense. In most of the chapters and verses in the New Testament, there are hints of her always being in the background of where ever Christ is up until his crucifixion.  While reading the book, the idea that a woman could have such an importance in the life of a man that it so greatly praised appeared to have been a problem. However, this isn’t known until the end of the book. Brown had taken the idea of the Holy Grail and converted it into that of the Holy Blood and that only happens if the bloodline continues. Priests and Church clerks take a vow of celibacy. This idea revolves around the idea that celibacy means to be unmarried as only unmarried men can join the priesthood. It also talks about the fact that being celibate brings them closer to God and allows them to give their whole undivided attention to be devoted to God.

The fact that Christ appears to have had not only a relationship but also a child would crush this belief system that had held part of the grounds for joining the priesthood. However, Brown Joins Leonardo with the underlining of the Church. According to the preface of the book, Leonardo Da Vinci was also a part of the Priory of Sion and was one of the main head figures. All this done ensure that the line of Christ continues to exist and remain a secret.

At the end of the book, when Langdon and Sophie find the ancient scrolls that were hidden and realise that it is a family tree of Christ all the way down to the present descendant still alive (in this case, being Sophie), we see the length that people would go to ensure that a secret so delicate remain a secret. This begs the question of how, in our day and age, or rather in our everyday lives how people go about blurting out each other’s secrets. In a way, we all would like to believe that we are strong enough to carry on a secret so heavily burdened that we would do anything to ensure that it remained a secret. A lot of situations like this allows us to see how secret organisations work and how interesting the Catholic Church can be.

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